It might seem that once you accept the challenge, solemnly and powerfully, and decide to improve, it gets easy afterwards, but it does not work like that. Sometimes it is difficult, many ambiguities and hesitations appear […]. Evil can take on different forms
We are preparing for the sacrament of marriage. More than a year ago, we made a promise to Jesus and to ourselves of purity of heart and thought. It was a year of effort, strivings and setbacks — but also victories. Over that time, we experienced the joy of living a pure love, but there have been moments when our vigilance was not strong enough and we suffered painful defeats. It might seem that once you accept the challenge, solemnly and powerfully, and decide to improve, it gets easy afterwards, but it does not work like that. Sometimes it is difficult, many ambiguities and hesitations appear, one feels perplexed. Evil can take on different forms: it is hidden among people we meet, on the television, in a seemingly innocent song and even in the words of the closest family members. When we thought we could make it and not succumb to the sin of impurity, that there was only a clear and bright road ahead, only pure thoughts and a truly loving heart — a whisper would appear, an inadvertence, an oversight, attempts at convoluted excusesand silencing conscience.
Life has changed our perception of certain things. We began to understand that “beautiful” does not mean “easy” and life is not just about impulses of the heart and spontaneous joy every moment. It is something much more complicated. Being together means above all incessant work on oneself and on the person one wants to be responsible for. It is the everyday decisions and choices, the struggle against character flaws and perfecting oneself in goodness. It is conversations, conversations and more conversations… sometimes even very bitter, because the truth can hurt, but it is also needed, because it builds and strengthens.
Even our falls can help in our growth. If we do not give up and come to constructive conclusions, they become for us a step forward
We have been trying to build on faith. We gave our lives to God, and we strengthened ourselves through prayer and frequent, thorough and honest confessions. We have established a set of rules, hoping that they will purify our mutual relations. For instance, there was a time when we decided to limit the time we spent alone, so that we would not be tempted – and even when we had to stay alone, we would leave the doors open. Soon, it began to yield results: quite unexpectedly, we saw our relations with our family improve; suddenly, we found time for a film with a sister or for a walk. From then on, the love that developed in us could radiate to others. We took care with kisses, something that has remained even now. With time, one can develop certain reactions, so that a red light flashes automatically inside one’s head at a moment when one has to stop and calm down. Nobody is perfect and none of us is completely free from what the flesh demands — something entirely natural and human. It is for us to decide what we are going to do about it, how we are goingto react. Honest conversations are really helpful. When one of us feels weak, we talk about it. We admit our weaknesses and thus we give each other the chance to help. We are careful with our words, the content of our conversations, we try not to provoke thoughts and associations that might lead to a fall, because we remember the biblical recommendations: “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, […] because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place” (Eph. 5:3–4); “You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips” (Col. 3:7–8); and finally this: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things” (Phil. 4:8).
Nobody is perfect and none of us is completely free from what the flesh demands – something entirely natural and human. It is for us to decide what we are going to do about it, how we are going to react
Retreats are also helpful, as well as common prayer, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, reading the Bible and sharing that which has moved us in God’s Word.
We have made ourselves a special calendar to count down the days to our marriage. At the end of each day, in a special space on the margin, we draw a face — a smiling one if that day we managed to keep the promises from the Prayer of Entrustment of the Movement of Pure Hearts, and a sad one if we did not. For now, there are only smiling faces — may it stay that way!
Once a priest at the confessional told us (we confessed one after the other) that we would come here repentant again and again many times and that we should not become proud and lose our vigilance. He was right: we would come many times afterwards with regret and sadness, but we never left emptyhanded. Even our falls can help in our growth. If we do not give up and come to constructive conclusions, they become for us a step forward — only one has to be really patient. We try to remember that “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13), as well as “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Pet. 5:8–9).
We wish all of you strong will in aspiring towards good and love in your hearts.
With our prayer,
Justyna & Jacek